Americans joyous, worried after Obama victory

Wed Nov 5, 2008 1:09pm EST
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By Andrea Hopkins

CINCINNATI (Reuters) - Americans woke with joy, cautious optimism and frank worry on Wednesday after the historic win by Democrat Barack Obama, who went from long shot to president-elect on the promise of change.

Just hours after Obama's victory speech to thousands of cheering supporters in Chicago, ordinary Americans headed to work clutching coffees and carrying newspapers that proclaimed Obama's place in history as the first black U.S. president.

"I'm excited. It's a huge step in the right direction," nurse Kim Andrews said as she headed to her hospital job in Cincinnati's dawn.

Obama rode a wave of voter discontent to triumph over Republican John McCain, while his fellow Democrats won increased majorities in Congress, as Americans emphatically rejected Republican President George W. Bush's eight years in office.

Andrews, 23, said she cried as she watched Obama's victory on television late on Tuesday night, amazed that America had taken such a great step in its long and troubled racial history.

"It shows that anyone can do anything," Andrews said.

Detroit media publisher Brian Boyle was equally thrilled.

"I feel much better about the world today than I did yesterday, I think the world feels much better about our country today than they did yesterday. It was a really amazing night," said Boyle, 43.   Continued...

<p>Tammy Montana (C) cheers with other bar patrons as President-elect Senator Barack Obama gives his victory speech, in New Orleans, Louisiana November 4, 2008. REUTERS/Lee Celano</p>